State Department and Federal Mediation and Conciliation Service to Partner on Mediating OECD Guidelines Disputes

Wednesday, January 16, 2013

This is a guest post from Alan Yu, the U.S. National Contact Point for the OECD Guidelines for Multinational Enterprises.

The Department of State and the Federal Mediation and Conciliation Service (FMCS), an independent U.S. federal agency, finalized on January 8 an agreement in which FMCS would make available its mediators to the Department of State, in support of the U.S. National Contact Point’s (NCP) efforts to help parties resolve concerns related to the Organization for Economic Cooperation and Development (OECD) Guidelines for Multinational Enterprises on responsible business conduct.

The OECD Guidelines are voluntary recommendations from governments to multinational enterprises on responsible business conduct in a range of areas – from labor to human rights to the environment. The United States and the other adhering governments to the Guidelines have created NCPs to promote and implement the Guidelines’ recommendations. The Guidelines include a dispute resolution mechanism under which parties can raise concerns to an NCP over Guidelines-related practices of multinational enterprises. If the NCP determines the concerns are bona fide, substantiated and relevant to the Guidelines, it will offer its good offices to assist the parties to resolve the issues raised, typically through mediation or conciliation.

The USNCP is available for information on addressing employment-related concerns at usncp@state.gov, or 202-647-5686. For further information on the OECD Guidelines or the USNCP, please go to: www.state.gov/usncp.

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